Pre season kitesurfing kit check
Pre Season Kitesurfing Kit Checks
Its the beginning of the season and it may have been a few months since you last got your kitesurfing kit out of the cupboard. To avoid being disappointed that first day you head out to go kitesurfing, you want to make sure your kit is in working order before you get down to the beach. To help with this we have put together a guide for going through the key parts of your kit that you are going to want to check over.
Bar and lines
First of all and probably the most important thing is to check and make sure your chicken loop is working and is releasing easily. If not you should give any mechanical parts a spray with WD40. For any parts that might be a little reluctant to budge it may be worth soaking them in some cooking oil to loosen them up.
Other parts of your safety systems that need to be checked are your safety leash which requires the same checks as the chicken loop as well as checking the clips are working properly. Finally you should check the actual leash line that your safety leash is attached to and asses the amount of wear. A lot of kites now come with a spare safety line so if it is worn out it is an easy swap over.
As you move up the lines you may have a swivel that will need oiling and checking on the front lines. As you go through the lines themselves check for any knots; a knot in your lines can reduce the strength of them by at least 60% so it is important to ensure there are none. Last but not least at the end of the lines check the pig tail attachment points for wear.
Carrying on straight from the bar and lines make sure the corresponding pig tail attachments on the kite have not worn out. After this check your bridle lines for any wear. One thing that is important to check on the bridal in particular is that the pullys are working properly and are able to roll along the lines with no resistance from the internal bearings. These pullys can be oiled and sprayed with WD40 if they are stiff.
With the canopy itself check for any small pin pricks. The best way to do this is with the kite deflated and holding it up to the light from underneath. These pin pricks may not seem like much but it is where any large rip will start from. With almost every kite I have ever purchased you receive a little box of bladder patches, these double up very nicely for patching these pin pricks. Give the area around the pin prick a clean with an alcoholic wipe, place a book underneath, ensure the canopy has no wrinkles on it and place the patch neatly over the top. This will reduce the risk of any of these pin prick holes spreading into large rips.
Finally with the kite you want to check your bladders. Pump the kite up nice and hard and ensure that the leading edge and the struts are sealed off from each other. One common problem we have here in Kenya in particular is that the glue on the valves wears off causing the bladders to leak. Leave the kite inflated for an hour or so to check if any of the bladders leak. If so you will need to remove the bladder and either patch a small hole with your sticky patches or glue down the valves where they have come loose. We will be doing a more comprehensive video on how to repair your bladders in the near future to guide you through the repair process. Additionally to make it easier for you we offer a repair service on kites here at Tribe Watersports so you can always drop them off with us to check over and repair any leaks.
With your board there are not so many checks that are required. The key things to check are the screws or bolts that attach everything to the board itself. Ensure all your fins are nice and secure to the board and are on in the correct direction if you are reattaching them. The same goes for the foot straps. If you are using bindings make sure that the laces are not worn out and going to snap as soon as you tighten them up. Also make sure that the fastening systems are working correctly.
With the harness the key thing to check here is that your spreader bar release mechanism is working correctly and if it is stiff it is sprayed with some WD40 or oiled to ensure it is working properly. Secondly make sure your safety leash attachments or suicide leash handle is secure and is not going to come undone if you need to release your chicken loop.
There is nothing more frustrating than getting to the beach with fully functioning kit and not having a working pump. Make sure your shaft is lubed and screw the top of the pump and make sure that all the internal valves are in place for efficient two way pumping. Check for holes in your hose and if there are any present just wrap some duct tape to block them.
Once you have gone through all these points you are ready to take on the season. We hope this is helpful to those of you that read it. If in doubt remember at Tribe Watersports we are always happy to help and provide a repair service where we can check over all your kit.
Tight lines and enjoy the season.